I sold all my stuff and moved to Auckland, New Zealand in December of 2016 because I fell in love with a Kiwi I met in Austin, Texas two years before. That’s the very quick version of how I wound up here at the bottom of the world.
Something about myself….I will never, ever look in the mirror and do that Bloody Mary thing because I can’t 100% without-a-doubt convince myself that nothing will happen. This is how weird I am….sometimes if I’m alone at night and I pass a mirror the thought crosses my mind to try it because, you know, live on the edge and all, and then I tell myself no and try to think of something else. But then I start wondering if I’ve thought the words “Bloody Mary” three times and maybe it’s a mind reading ghost and this is enough for her to come out of the mirror and be all stabby. I’m a big thirty-six-year-old weirdo nerd whose thoughts sometimes have no basis in reality at all.
I miss people a lot. But every day it’s a little less. This makes me happy in that I feel like I’m getting more comfortable here. But it also makes me sad because I feel like all those people who were such a big important part of my life for so many years will one day be little more than a memory. Flights to and from New Zealand ain’t cheap. And two girlfriends just had, or soon will have, their first baby. As happy as I am for them I also have that super selfish thought of “Now they’ll never have the time or money to come down here!” So I worry that one day the life I had in Austin will only be a memory, all the ties there will dissolve over time. But I guess that’s how everything goes in this weird and wacky ever-changing world, right?
I’m happy here. I love my man. He’s got a better heart than anyone I’ve ever met and is certainly a better person than I am. He takes good care of me, accepts my constant need for hugs and kisses and affirmation, he makes me burst out laughing countless times a day, and I can fart in front of him and not even care.
But making a life here is hard. Partially because I don’t have a work visa yet so I don’t have a job. Going on seven months now of being unemployed and sometimes I love it and sometimes I’m bored. And not having a job takes away an avenue for meeting people and making friends. I’m kind of shy and introverted so it’s hard for me to just go out and meet people.
I have made one friend though, an American who moved here from Washington state with her husband. She’s a piano composer and she’s lovely. I met her through MeetUp. She invited me to join a burlesque dance class she was doing, and though I quickly learned that my hips don’t do burlesque, we continued to hang out after I dropped out of the class and we get along pretty darn well.
Anyway….Tom left on Sunday. He had to go down to the south island for work and will be gone for almost a month. I had so much anxiety about him leaving. And though I tried really hard to swallow it back, I cried while we were waiting for the airport shuttle to come get him. I felt so dumb. I mean, I’ve spent almost two years away from him doing the back and forth thing….taking him to the airport knowing I wouldn’t see him for another six months…and here I am crying about a piddly one month of being apart. But it’s different when I’m not surrounded by friends and family, when I don’t have a job to keep me occupied.
I’m alone here.
But I’m staying busy.
And it’s a test of whether or not I actually like myself to spend this much time alone.
I’m making myself get out and about and explore. Driving on the other side of the road and from the opposite seat of the car finally isn’t an absolutely terrifying experience to me anymore. I don’t accidentally turn on the windshield wipers whenever I reach for the turn indicator. So I’m getting more and more comfortable going out and finding places to explore.
Yesterday I went to Mt Eden, a volcanic cone. Nowhere near as impressive as I picture Hawaii’s active volcanoes being, but still beautiful and the views of the city from the top were spectacular. And exchanging smiles and hellos with the people walking past put me in a really good mood.
The rain has finally stopped and the sun has come out. Weather here can change in a matter of minutes so I’m gonna take advantage of the sun and head to Ponsonby, a little bohemian area of Auckland that I’ve never been to. They’ve got coffee shops and used books stores and it sounds right up my alley.
Plus, this is happening just a few feet away from me in my front yard and it’s making my world loud and shaky. I wonder how the landlord is gonna feel about that giant hole??
One last random thing about me…..I hate sun-dried tomatoes. They’re vinegary and bitter and having had one in my mouth I now believe I know what chewing on mummified skin would be like.
There, now you know me a little better.
Make the most of it, people.